OPINION

Private tax collection

The authorities?- chronic failure to collect unpaid taxes should make the Socialist government of Prime Minister George Papandreou seriously consider the idea of assigning the task to private companies.

Across the Ionian Sea, our neighbor Italy has in the past passed the management of national and local tax collection over to the private sector and the results were quite satisfactory. And the Italians are not the only ones to do so as a number of other countries have tried similar schemes.

Also, we mustn?t forget that Greece?s tax collecting mechanism is such a mess that the state has pretty much nothing to lose if it tries out a new system.

In fact, the government in Athens could launch a pilot program with the aim of establishing the advantages and disadvantages of such an arrangement – particularly its success in reducing or even phasing out corruption from the system.

Doing so would represent a significant step in streamlining the country?s troubled finances.